Dear HCSD Families:

I am writing to inform you that a staff member at the Montgomery C. Smith Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19. This individual has not been physically present in school since Friday, November 6th.

Per our Health and Safety protocols, the District has been in communication with the Columbia County Department of Health to conduct thorough contact tracing. All students and staff that must quarantine have been notified. If you are not contacted by a representative of the District or Department of Health, there is no further action needed on your part.

As you know, Wednesday is a day of deep cleaning of all schools. Please be assured that even with today’s holiday, the schools have been thoroughly cleaned as planned. We will have in person classes tomorrow, November 12th, as planned. 

Please be reminded that we must all work together to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Families and community members can assist our efforts by promoting healthy behaviors and following these practices:

  • Know the symptoms of COVID-19 and how to identify them in yourself and others. The DOH has indicated that loss of taste or smell may be a primary indicator of COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals.
  • Stay home from school or work if sick, even if symptoms are mild.
  • Wear a face covering in areas where physical distancing is difficult to maintain.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue (or sleeve), and then throw the tissue in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are often touched.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid large group gatherings, especially where masks are not worn.

While we understand that you may want additional details, privacy laws restrict us from disclosing or confirming any personal identifiable information. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation. Please contact your supervisor if you have any questions.


Dr. Maria Lagana Suttmeier, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools